Leeds United fans were left thoroughly pleased with the performance of their folk hero Pontus Jansson in the World Cup yesterday. Hauled into the starting XI at the last minute after Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof fell ill he was imperious at the back for the Swedes.
He dominated in the air, looked comfortable on the ball and made some crucial tackles and interceptions throughout.
For Leeds fans it was something of a throwback to the 2017 Pontus Jansson that they had grown to love. The Swedish defender was the standout performer in the Championship in the defensive positions that season.
But last campaign he struggled. Jansson, burdened by responsibility, often found himself putting in sub-par performances.
What the Sweden game proved is what many already knew, for Jansson to thrive he needs the right defensive partner.
When he thrived for Leeds he had Kyle Bartley alongside him. A ball-playing centre-half with a calming influence. Yesterday, for Sweden, he played alongside Andreas Granqvist, very similar in style to Bartley.
It leaves the Leeds man free to do what he does best. Cut out passes, go win headers, make crunching tackles. Basically, play like the old school defender he is.
Last season at Leeds he did not have a regular partner and if Leeds want him to get back to his best on a club level Victor Orta and co must bring in a suitable team-mate to let him do just that.
One winner and one loser as Florian Jozefzoon chooses Derby over Leeds
The 27-year-old looks set to sign for the Rams.
When Brentford confirmed on Wednesday that the club had accepted a bid for attacker Florian Jozefzoon, it seemed Derby County were the frontrunners.
However, reports of a Leeds United bid added to the transfer drama, before Jozefzoon eventually chose the Rams over Elland Road, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post.
The reported decision would come as a severe blow to Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds United, as the club would miss out on yet another transfer target this summer.
However, Frank Lampard and Derby County will be delighted at another transfer coup, as the allure of the England legend is proving to be a great way of attracting players to Pride Park.
Loser: Leeds fans
Although there are still a number of weeks left in the window, Leeds supporters are right to be worried about the lack of permanent signings.
So far, the club have made just two loan agreements with Lewis Baker and Jamal Blackman of Chelsea. While the two are certainly smart acquisitions, they are not of the quality that will fire Leeds to promotion.
There is still no need to panic, as Marcelo Bielsa will surely attract some top talent as well— but to see their direct Championship rivals beat them to Jozefzoon will be worrying.
Winner: Frank Lampard
The Chelsea legend has done it again. After securing the double loan swoop of promising youngsters Harry Wilson and Mason Mount, Lampard looks set to acquire the services of the former Dutch Under-21 international.
In his first transfer window as a manager, Lampard has done well to convince key targets to join his project at Pride Park, a valuable skill that will serve him well in his coaching career.
Derby now look set to mount a serous promotion challenge; Leeds will have to strengthen further to be able to say the same.
Leeds United round-up: Heckingbottom on Bielsa backing, Jozefzoon miss and Diagne wages
All the latest news and gossip from Leeds United.
Former boss Paul Heckingbottom has spoken publicly for the first time since departing Leeds United in June. He was let go at the start of June after failing to turnaround Leeds results significantly in a four-month spell.
He told talkSPORT that he suffered from a ‘change of direction’ from the club.
He was replaced by Marcelo Bielsa this summer and hopes the Argentine will get the backing he deserves at the club.
“He should be saying the same things I was saying and hopefully he gets the backing and the support to make changes and give the fans there what they’re crying out for.”
Jozefzoon to Derby
Leeds United will not be signing Florian Jozefzoon this summer. The Dutchman has been linked with a move to Elland Road this summer. Yesterday, it was reported a deal had been agreed between his current club Brentford and an unnamed Championship side.
That team is not Leeds, but Derby County.
As reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, the winger is set to join the Rams for a fee in the region of £2.75 million, despite Leeds showing late interest.
Diagne wage trouble
Leeds have been linked with a move for Kasimpasa striker Mbaye Diagne this week. However, a report today suggests a stumbling block.
Turkish Football suggest he will cost around £3.6 million but that Leeds will struggle to afford his wages as talks get advanced.
After Instagram hint would Kenneth Omeruo be a great recruit for Leeds United
The Nigerian has been excellent on loan spells and could fit in perfectly at Leeds United.
Earlier this week Leeds United secured the signature of Jamal Blackman on loan for the season. He was the second former Middlesbrough loanee signed from Chelsea this summer, after Lewis Baker arrived earlier in the summer.
Another player with a similar history then appeared to hint he could be next. Kenneth Omeruo commented on Blackman’s Instagram post about the move stating, “wait for me.”
What the Nigerian international meant by the comment is up for debate but, at the moment, there is no sign that Leeds are in fact interested in signing the player.
But should they be?
Omeruo could be a fine addition to the Leeds first-team.
First things first, Leeds are short at the back. Last season proved that another defender is needed at Leeds, even if Kalvin Phillips appears set for a dual midfield-defensive role.
Omeruo could also be perfect for Leeds’ new system.
It appears Marcelo Bielsa is adopting a fluid formation at Leeds. When in defence they look a solid four. But when in attack, the full-back’s push on and a midfielder drops in, creating a three.
Omeruo showed at the World Cup this summer that he is more than adept at playing in a back-three. Nigeria’s performances improved greatly when he joined William Troost-Ekong and Leon Balogun in triumvirate at the back.
Capable of playing at full-back as well the 40-cap international could be a great recruit for Leeds United this summer.